Tag: Front Desk TipsView All Tags
Front Desk Tips / Repeat Guests / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Aditya Rajaram / Hotel Services / → All Tags
Recently, a reader and frequent hotel guest was exasperated that a hotel did not recognize his repeat stays, asking the forced and scripted question,"Have you stayed with us before?" each time he checked in. We turned to our Front Desk Guy, Aditya Rajaram to answer why this happened. As hotels ramp up their "let's be friends" and "we care about you, really" marketing schemes to entice the "new generation" of travelers, we thought this was an important aspect of the hotel experience to analyze. Here's his take on it all.
The question of loyalty at hotels is perhaps one of the most fundamental questions in hospitality. The ability to recognize and appreciate a returning guest is a balancing act between art and science. The "science" of it is left to the multiple hotel company systems and databases that store prior stays, preferences and options but the "art" comes from the hotel employee's ability to filter through all the data, and perhaps rely on their own memory system, so they can genuinely welcome back each guest and provide them with a customized stay.
Unfortunately, both science and art can fail, leading to a really bad scenario. When this happens, the hotel does not only have the requisite guest information (history of stay, preferences etc) on file but they do not appropriately reward their loyalty with warmth, relevant perks or a heightened level of service.
Below, I'll explain how recognizing repeat guests *should* work, as well as explain what commonly goes wrong.
Front Desk Guy / Front Desk Tips / Hotel Security / Hotel Payments / Paying with a Credit Card / → All Tags
The #1 goal of any hotel should be safety and security. Not just the safety and security of its guests and their belongings, but also their financials, i.e. credit cards, money, checks etc.
The security of these starts not when a guest checks in but rather, when they make the booking. In my years working at hotels across many operators, there are clear procedures and protocols that serve to protect guest information and their financials.
Still, guests should always be on guard when handing over their credit card. There are a lot of bad scams out there and sadly, you can't trust anyone. We know you already know most of these tips but here are a few things to remember:
Lost and Found / Front Desk Guy / Front Desk Tips / Hotel Security / Hotel Theft / Hotel Lost and Found / → All Tags
What really happens when an item goes missing at a hotel? Our Front Desk Guy, Aditya Rajaram digs into the hotel Lost & Found to find out.
It has happened to all of us. A book left behind, a favorite shirt, a pair of glasses and the dreaded phone charger!
Most guests have, at one time or another, left something behind at a hotel. And most guests normally expect that the hotel will find it and return it to the guest. Unfortunately, the guest isn't always reunited with their belonging.
This causes quite an issue for many guests because they grow to mistrust the hotel and believe that either someone has taken it or the hotel is too lazy to go look for it. But the truth is, most hotels do have very clear protocols about items left behind. However, more often than not, the guests are the ones who have erroneously described the item, incorrectly suggested where it should be or have not misplaced it at all and instead found it in their luggage or back at home.
Still, if you think an item has gone missing in a hotel, requiring a diligent follow-up and thorough check on the part of the hotel staff is a must! The procedure for relocating a lost item, in most instances, is quite simple.
Below are the basic steps that hotels and guests should when items go missing.
Now that Marriott Hotels are encouraging guests to leave tips for housekeepers by placing tip envelopes in the room, we thought it was a good idea to have our front desk guy, Aditya Rajaram offer some of his own, er, tips, on tipping in hotels.
The never-ending question of whether to tip, how much to tip, and who to tip at a hotel drives all guests a little crazy. In some parts of the world, it is frowned upon to give a tip and in others it is customary. In U.S. cities that are heavily unionized, well, you are pretty much booed if you don't.
Here are a few careful thoughts on tipping in the hospitality industry.
Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Reservations / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy, Aditya Rajaram, has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. He's also shared what really happens behind the front desk. Now, he's giving us the lowdown on the most horrible offense a front desk can commit--assigning two different guests to the same room.
Hotel guests often think that the hotel's computer system are without error, but the truth is, not only can these systems malfunction, they can also fall victim to human error, typically by the front desk associate.
Hotel staff are trained to be very careful with the check-in process. This means checking the entire reservation screen to make sure we have the name/address and payment information right (and to write down the room number for the guest, not say it out loud.) Alas, mistakes are inevitably made and serious guest issues can arise.
The most serious offense made by a front desk associate is when two guests are checked into the same room. Below, I'll explain how this miscommunication could have happened and what the guest and the hotel should do when it does.
Hotel Fees / Front Desk Tips / Aditya Rajaram / Tips / Hotel Pet Peeves / Hotel Front Desks / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. Now, he's got a few tips on getting around those pesky hotel fees that pop up from out of nowhere on your bill.
Hotels have been notorious for offering "convenient" products and services, then finding a way to tack on the extra charges to your hotel bill before you leave. According to a recent report, those fees will total up to $2.25 billion for hotels in the U.S. for this year alone.
While some fees and surcharges are unavoidable, i.e. the infamous Javits Convention Center tax in NYC and state and municipal taxes, there are other fees that aren't always clearly marked, like that daily newspaper charge that is actually optional or the pool towel fee that isn't listed anywhere except in small print at the bottom of a sign far away from the pool entrance.
Here are some ways to ensure you avoid these fees and if they are unfairly charged, how to get them removed:
Behind The Front Desk / Hotel Front Desks / Aditya Rajaram / Guest Notes / Hotel Secrets / Front Desk Tips / Front Desk Stories / Hotel News / → All Tags
Our former front desk guy has given valuable tips on effectively complaining to the front desk when something goes wrong. But if start a screaming match with the front desk, or any other hotel employee, you can be assured they will "make a note of this." Here's what really goes on behind the front desk.
Most hotels have a system where information about each guests’ needs are documented and further highlighted upon check-in, so that all staff are aware of the profile of the guest and anticipate all their needs. These comments are further enforced during a typical 15-minute "stand-up" (a pre-shift run through of the day’s status, events, information and VIPs). A proper handling of these comments ensures that all staff has the same information and relays a consistent level of information and service to the guest.
However, some of the comments placed on a guest account go far beyond the rudimentary drink and pillow preferences, and instead highlight details pertaining to a specific incident during their previous stay or an extreme requirement that must be attended to when a guest checks in, or an alert about unorthodox behavior or a previous complaint placed by the guest.
Below is a glimpse of some comments that have graced guests' accounts over my years as part of the front desk team, and how we handled them.